Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Baby Shower coming up!

Julie gets in town tomorrow & the baby shower is Saturday! I'm so anxious for Julie to have a good time & get to see her friends & family & enjoy the day. But WHOOO-WEEEE - planning something like this takes alot of time & work! I think everything is good to go - just picking up all the food & drinks on Friday & last minute things needed. We will be having 1 man at the shower - one of Julie's best friends will be coming - so I've got to think of something creative to incorporate him into the fun! Any ideas? Any fun things on baby showers anyone wants to share? I'm still open for suggestions!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Doing a heart good!

I just have to say - it was such a wonderful weekend! It was jammed packed with friends, family & messages that really touched me! Saturday, we got to spend time with my family celebrating my daddy's birthday. After a great meal (which I did not cook - ate out!) we came back to my home & brought out the ice cream & cake. The twins were running around making everyone smile - how amazing they have such personalities! It just seems they were born - now they're fast approaching 3 yrs old! (where does the time go?)

Sunday - I was so impacted by the messages I received at both the morning church service & the Thrive message. The morning message, the main thing that stuck with me was the question that was posed - "Would anyone mistake you for Jesus?" - if someone didnt' know anything about Jesus & heard about Him for the first time, would you be the one they thought, "Hey, I already know that person!" HHMMMM..... one of those things that make you think! Then at Thrive, it was brought up how the disciples weren't the "best of the best" - how they must have failed at their tests to become a rabbi - but yet, Jesus chose them & considered them the best to follow him. A great point that hit my heart was the idea that Jesus believed in them, as He believes in us today! We always think about us having to believe in Him - but switching it around - how encouraging is that? The idea that Jesus believe in us to do the things He instructs us to do! What a challenge - but its made easier to know we have "the man" behind us cheering us on! It was just a great "God-day!" - along with the band ROCKING OUT at Thrive - LOVED IT!!!

Plus, I have to mention - me & Ricky were so blessed to go out to lunch with friends, Lynn & Mickey & gang, who are fast becoming such wonderful God-friends to us!!! Who would have thought a lunch right after church could last until 4:00!!!??? By the time we left each other - I was ready to go back in for dinner! We would have probably still be there talking if that's what we did!

And the topper of the weekend - I get to love on my nieces. There's nothing better than lying them in bed & them just hugging & giving me their sign language for "Aunt Bec" - does a heart good!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Animal Senses

I'm sure you heard of this story yesterday if you had any sort of media - it was on the news, on the radio, on "Regis & Kelly" -everywhere was a story about this cat that lives in a nursing home that seems to know when someone is going to pass away. Apparently, this cat will go into a room, curl up with someone & within the day, that person passes away. It has happened over 24 times so its not like it was a fluke of some sort. Now, the ongoing joke was, when the nursing home residents saw this cat come up to them, they just had a heart attack because they were scared to death.

The news of this didn't surprise me in the least! Have you noticed animals & their sense of things we dont see? I've told the story many times about how Steph's cat, Hercules would not leave her side. This cat is just like any other cat - he will ALLOW you to pet him on his terms, not just the kind to hang out & enjoy company. When Steph was in her final weeks, this cat got on her bed & wouldnt leave! Even with all the visitors coming over, he would never leave Steph's side - when normally if a visitor would come over, Hercules was gone only to be seen once the home was filled with the "normal" people. At one point, when it was time for Steph's medicine, her bedroom door opened & out came Herc as a reminder for the medicine doses - how the door opened for him? I dont know - we just cracked up wondering how he managed that one! When someone would put him out & shut the door, Hercules would cry out until he could get back up & curl up in a ball at Steph's feet.

The day Steph passed away, Hercules was on that bed - & the minute she left this world, Hercules got up, walked out of the room & went back to his bed. He had that sense to him like, "My job here is done". While we waited for the coroner to come, Hercules never even got back on the bed - he knew she was no longer there. Isn't that crazy how they sense things?

For those of you that have pets, dont you see that they notice when you aren't feeling well, or even when you're sad? I was home sick from work last Friday, & one of the things that made me feel a little bit better - I got to lay on the bed & was surrounded by my four dogs who can sense something's wrong & just want to snuggle as a way to make me feel better - it works!

One part of their sense that drives me nuts though - whenever I am home alone, they seem to look down the hallway & bark like someone is standing there. Why dont they do that when Ricky's home? I think they sense it aggrivates me & that's just a tad revenge for not giving the treats they prefer! (hehe)

What do they see - what do they feel - how do they sense these things? I guess I just chaulk it up to another one of God's wonderful creations!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Knitting WHERE?

OK - I'm only sharing this to put a smile on everyone's face - but it is in fact a TRUE story - which makes it even more embarassing!

Yesterday was my yearly exam at my doctor's office & of course, I take my knitting with me to pass the time in the waiting room. I get called back into the room, change into the robe they provide, hop up on the table & continue knitting while I'm waiting for the doctor. When she comes in, her eyes immediately go to the cute little hat that is being created & her questions start about the stitches, the yarn, the needles - a knitting conversation started! We get through the exam & then she asks me if I could give her a refresher course on knitting. SURE! - always up to share the joy of the needles! "Wait, my nurse wanted to learn this too" - call her in & another nurse also wants to learn - invite her as well! I'm showing them the stitches & how it works on double pointed needles (which looks more complicated than it is) & they are being sucked in the magical world of knitting! I give them places to go find the neatest yarns, the best needles I recommend, all the tips I can think of. A great time sharing my "knitting knowledge" - & then I realize - I'm still in my exam robe - sitting in a room full of strangers naked - teaching knitting!!!! My bum is sticking out the whole time - you know those flimsy little robes are like toliet paper! ..........Anything for the art of knitting & sharing it with others!
I challenge anyone to tell me they've knitted in a more akward situation in their life!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my daddy's birthday! His name is Tom & if you've never met him - he's an amazing person! I was raised with my dad being a deacon in the Baptist church so both my parents raised me with Christian values - set a great example of God's love. He's been through health turmoil's over the years, but it never stopped him or got him down. He's a true cowboy at heart - loving horses as much as I do dogs! Now, he's got his granddaughters trained to love horses as much as he does & I know he visualizes them all riding around one day. I always say I'm so blessed to still have both my parents with me on this earth - & especially on his birthday, I am reminded of that! I can always count on my father for anything - isn't that the best thing in the world? So HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD - I LOVE YOU!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Kicked in the butt!

What a week! VBS was fun, exhiliterating, full of fellowship, creative & tiring! I dont think I've been that busy in a long time - but it was wonderful spending time with all these kids. Seeing them excited about learning things about Christ - its all worth it.

On a personal level, it was such a reminder of how much I miss Stephanie! We have done the past few years VBS in crafts together. I know people dont understand how much I miss her - but then you dont understand how much a part of my life she was. Lately, I dont think I've missed her more. I was told it's OK to let everyone know how much I miss her & how bad it hurts me still - so thats why once again, I'm saying how sad life is without my friend! I try to keep a happy face on for everyone & not let them think its hurting as bad as it is - but yes, it still hurts - worse than ever.

I do have to say though, I am so thankful for my friends that I have with me now - the people who held my hands this week - who let me cry on their shoulder - the people who took me into private rooms & prayed with me - I am so blessed to have you all in my life! I had Stephanie's children working crafts with me & I had to smile thinking how proud she would be to see them step in her place! I saw Stephanie's husband working to help me prepare & offered his time. I saw my own bonus-daughter come a few nights to help (even when she professes to not even like to be around children) - life goes on I guess, even if we dont like the changes it throws at you. But I am blessed with new changes too - new friendships that are developing - people I can count on to say a prayer for me - people who put a smile on my face & make me laugh. I am so blessed.

So if you see me & I look a little sad - I'm just feeling that broken part of my heart again. But just say a quick prayer for me, give me a quick hug & know I'll be OK!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Cross

Last night as I was leaving VBS, I heard about the lesson the kids were learning about the cross. They each held onto a nail & thought of a sin they commited & it was tied into Jesus being nailed on a cross for each one of us. When I walked out with Lindsay at the end of the night - she asked, "Is it wrong that that disturbs me in so many levels?" I asked her why & she said the whole idea of the cross scares her. She refused to watch "Passion of the Christ" knowing it was such a violent look at the cross. I have to admit - the movie put a whole new view to me what happened compared to just reading the Bible & picturing it in my mind.

Our conversation continued - she said she can't stand to look at a cross with Jesus hanging on it - like you would maybe find in a Catholic church. I told her, the good news is, Jesus is no longer on that cross - He is alive, living & ready to come back to us one day. I also reminded her she studies the Holocost, World Wars, & horrible events of the past. The cross to a Christian is a reminder of a past - even if its not a beautiful picture of the pain that our Christ endured. But really, in the end, it turns into the MOST beautiful picture there is - the picture of hope & grace.

I guess when everyone looks at the cross, so many things come to mind. I hope I took a little fear away from Lindsay at least. What do I see? I see forgiveness that I dont deserve - which turns into a reverance & a love for my Heavenly Father who loves me. I also am reminded of a song by Ray Boltz that says, "Do you still feel the nails, every time I fail?...I just cant stand the thought of hurting him" - the cross is also encouragement to live a better life. So many opinions, so many thoughts - what do you see?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nurse Amber

I just want everyone to say a prayer for my friend Amber. Amber is Stephanie's oldest daughter & such a blessing to me. She has been going to school with the hopes of becoming a nurse. When Steph was nearing the end of her earthly life, Amber was waiting on a letter stating she made it into Nursing School. She so badly wanted to let her mom know she was going to make it. The letter never came. Amber's heart was broken. Tell me how awesome our God is - the day before yesterday, she received a letter letting her know that the spot was still open in the nursing program if she wanted it. She contacted the school to let them know of course she wants the spot - but she told me she knows her mom got to Heaven & said, "My daughter is going to Nursing School" - & a spot opened up! The school isn't sure of what happened & why she didnt receive a letter earlier. Heavenly help going on there? HHMMMM.....

So keep Amber in your prayers - she has such a compassionate heart & is going to make a fantastic nurse! I'll be in the front row cheering her on!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It has begun!!!!

VBS officially started last night to a rip-roaring good time! I am the leader of crafts & I'm not one to take a "leadership" role very often. I'm more a behind the scenes kind of gal! But nerves & worries were put behind me when I see so many people there willing to help & step up to do what needs to be done. The kids seemed to enjoy the first night - things ran smoothly - & I made it home by 9:45. All in all - a great accomplishment - first night done!
Tonight will be more exciting with paint flying everywhere! I'm expecting nothing less than a mess all over me by the end of the night! It wouldnt be fun otherwise!

Continue to pray these little ones see a little bit of Jesus in all of us as workers - & get to learn something of God's love through the process of fun at VBS!

Monday, July 16, 2007

What a weekend!

I have to say - this has been one of the busiest weekends I've had in a long time - & I enjoyed every minute of it.

Friday - it was a Jr. High Cookout night at out church "ranch". There is just nothing like getting to know these awesome kids in a sweaty, kick-ball, "in your face" game! Its great to see their personalities, laugh with them & just spending time with them. Ricky even made it & was involved in the Ultimate Frisbee game (which about wore me OUT!). Add Tug of War to the mix, & smores around the campfire - it couldnt have been a better night!

Saturday - another cookout at a great friend's home! Lynn invited us & Jack, along with other friends, Vicki & Steve. Its great to go to someone's home & just feel like you are so welcome & to comfortable talking & relaxing with each other. Mickey did an awesome job on the grill - & I for one am proud to say I cooked a dish & brought it! For those who know me - that is definately a feat in itself! Jack even took a picture of me for proof that I did actually cook once in my life! Games of corn-hole were brewing up challenges, being with Carly & Michael was wonderful & conversations that were thought-provoking were great mind stretchers. Once again - laughter is the best thing that filled that house! Just another time full of friendship, laughter, & a common bond of Christian fellowship - another AWESOME night! (Thanks Lynn for having us all over!)

Sunday - the last day of the weekend - another BUSY day! We had a wonderful sermon & then it was time to get ready for VBS!!! I've never seen so many people walking around with things in their hands on a mission. People decorating, moving things, putting up barb wire on the walls - you could see it all! After a few hours, our church is ready for a full on revival for kids! Can't wait for tonight to start. But off from the church, I got to visit with my parents for a little bit (had to pick up a cowboy hat from my cowboy father for the VBS week) & then we went to celebrate Ricky's mom's birthday. We've got to spend alot of time with Ricky's family lately. Its been a nice change. And on the way home, I couldnt let the weekend go without hugs from my twin nieces - no better way to close the weekend up!

I couldnt have been blessed more with the company that I have shared over this past weekend. God is so good!

Friday, July 13, 2007

I get by...

with a little help from my friends!!!!.......VBS is next week & I am running the crafts for the elementary school kids. I had 168 cowboy hats to put together - (which may sound easy - but its not) 168 vests to cut out of paper bags (which may sound easy...) & with the problems I've been having with my hand & arm - it was getting scary on how this would all get done. What would I do without friends? Jack opened up his home - him & Ryan & Rollie made a wonderful Mexican dinner (along with cheesecake for dessert - YUM) - & a craft night was to be had! Cara & Brent, Meech & Macy, me & Ricky, along with Ryan & Jack went at it! Cutting away, tape being pulled, paper flying through the air - we were hard at it! I didnt think it was going to be possible to finish them all! We started around 6:30 - and when the clock struck 11:30 & we were on the tail end - I almost wanted to cry because we actually did it - we finished!!!! I never could have done it all on my own! I know by the end of the night, everyone's fingers were blistered, tired & just plain wore out - but no one gave in. A second wind even blew through & the hat making contest was on!! I cant even express my gratitude for the time & work everyone put out to help me! I am just thankful! I truly would have been lost with everyone's help - so once again - THANK YOU guys!

Now - onto the big VBS week where we get to see the kids turn our labor into beautiful works of art - that's the best part! That's the payment of all the hard work - seeing those kids have a good time enjoying church & learning about our God! All worth it!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Evan Almighty

What a fun night! We have a contest for the person who has the most attendance on Wednesday Night in our Jr. High Youth group. The prize - a movie & dinner of their choice with a friend. Jordan won & chose to bring along Kayla - & the night was set for fun! We went to Panara Bread, gobbled up & then headed to the movie to see Evan Almighty! We had a few minutes to spare before & saw the photo booth - who could resist? Fitting 5 of us in that little booth - it was definately a hilarious event to watch. The giggles were on after that. We got into the theater - and the five us of (the two girls, me, Cara & Meech) started talking & the giggling ensued. During the previews before the movies, the 5 of us were gut laughing while everyone else seemed very subdued. We were in the mood for fun!

If you havent seen "Evan Almighty" - I LOVED IT! I know it got bad reviews, but it had so many good lessons about Love, how God works in our lives, patience, Biblical references - I thought it was fantastic! Anything that can remind us that acts of random kindness are what changes the world a little at a time - how can that be bad? Add Steve Carrell & tons of animals - it was wonderful!

Add the company of my friends & two great girls that have so much personality - it was just a great night - one I needed! I am so blessed to know these jr high girls because I see so much in them that is the makings of great Christian women that will change the world & bless others with their love for the Lord - all the while - keeping that sense of humor that is needed to reach people personally.

Thanks girls for a wonderful night! Next stop - "Hairspray?"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bring the rain

I was just thinking today how hot its been but the rains come through - leaving behind beautiful days to follow. This song came to mind - how often does the tribulations in our lives lead to us glorifying our God - leaving behind a beautiful lesson of love.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


My dad has planted sunflower seeds in my front yard the past two years. If you've never seen a real sunflower grow - its amazing. First of all, they grow extremely fast! Even in this heat, they sprout & every day when I come home, I can see the growth in them! I do not have a green thumb in any sense so they are great because they are maintenance free! The leaves on them get HUGE!! Both of my hands can fit inside of one leaf with plenty of room. I would love to get my nieces to stand by the sunflowers that are growing this year - they would look like Jack & the beanstalk! It has to be almost 7-8 feet tall right now - and no flower has yet to bud - so it could get even taller! Then, once they open up, its just cool to watch the flowers pull back & to see that gigantic center - the bees love to get in there too. THEN, the coolest part, I cut it down, dried it out, then had roasted sunflower seeds for the fall! I left another center out for the birds who demolished the seeds themselves. Isn't nature great?

The thing I noticed over the past few days though - the top of the stem where the flower will bud, it moves daily. When I leave in the morning, it faces away from the house - where the sun will come up. When I come home, its pointing straight up like its reaching higher to get the sun light. Last night, I got home after a meeting & it was around 8:00 - the stem looked like it was curved, facing towards the house, like it was trying to stretch over the roof, where the sun was setting behind the house........Got me thinking! Shouldnt we all be like that? Stretching & moving to follow God's "Son" - taking in the energy & the life He offers? Brining beauty to everyone who sees? Giving something to offer while you're here (the bees eating from it) - and leaving something behind that is lasting (the seeds that are roasted or left behind for birds).

Funny how just a simple flower growing in my front yard can teach me a lesson about my Lord!

Monday, July 09, 2007


Its wild how a conversation during the day can come back later & knock you in the head.

Ricky & I were out at lunch & we got on the topic of revenge. Ricky is very much the Old Testatment (OT) belief of "an eye for an eye". When I mention the NT of Jesus "turn the other cheek" - I get the debate of "Do we still believe in the Ten Commandments? That's OT?" - Oh, we can go round & round & have some serious debated conversations. Such was one we had over O'Charley's (YUM! - must try they're new pretzel covered chicken)

Any-hoo....we go to Thrive last night. The skit performed by everyone was very moving & hit right to the point of how we carry "luggage" around when we need to pray to God to let it go & let Him handle it. Who are we to carry it around & harbor all the resentment & let it eat away at us? Would God want us to live that sort of life? No way. Next came a video that had amazing points about what?.... you guessed it - Revenge! I loved this comment - "Do we think we can give the punishment someone deserves? Do we think we are better than God & know how to handle the situation?". I also loved how they brought up the verse regarding a dog will return to his own vomit - but you dont have to be there when they do - you can remove yourself from someone & actually forgive them for the wrong doings that they did to you. The point was made too that you shouldnt put it off - you may not have tomorrow to give up that "luggage" - why wait? Thrive was wonderful!

But if you know me & Ricky - you know there were more "debates" (code for arguments) about this. Ricky's point was, as Christians - why do we believe in the legal system. Isn't it based on revenge? Isn't justice the same as revenge? We take people who have done wrong & give them a punishment - in some form or another. Shouldnt we as Christian's forgive them & let them go to see if they learned their lesson. He drives me nuts - because I do see his point (that's the worst part!) So what do you think? Is justice the same as "revenge" in a sense? How does it fit into a Biblical/Christian lifestyle?

The bottom line for me - I'm just glad that Christ came so I dont get what I deserve! Could you imagine what life would be like for us if we all got our deserved punishment? I get chills thinking about it - but Praise the Lord - we have our Merciful & Gracious Lord who forgives us!

Friday, July 06, 2007

New Mission?

I am so excited about a new opportunity for missions that is going to start up in our church. A friend of mine came up and told me she was informed of 2 teenage girls that found themselves pregnant. She took the time & went & found these girls (one, literally had to be hunted down) & talked to them, prayed for them & the babies, & let them know that they weren't alone. There would always be someone there for them - & most importantly, reassured them that God loves them & the baby they were carrying.

I was invited to help in this mission. This is something that touches my heart like nothing else. My heart goes out to teenage pregnancy situations & the fear & the confusion these girls feel. We will go each month to check on these girls, give them a little bit of hope & just let them know they are cared for. I'm thrilled about this opportunity & anxious to try to make a difference to someone. Ultimately, it will all be in God's hands - but I pray He can use me & the others from our church who become involved in this mission. So many young girls need the reassurance of hope at a time like this. I just want to reflect that hope - reflect God's Love.

Pray for this new mission. It holds so much possibility! Always - just to Glorify Him!!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Spending time with Family

We had the best time celebrating the 4th yesterday. We were invited to go to Ricky's sister's house & I'm so glad we went. Ricky has 3 sisters & 1 brother & we just dont really get to spend alot of time with them. Going over to vist, we got to sit in the pool, enjoy a cook out, play some vicious games of corn-hole, sit & talk to catch up, & I got to play with my niece & nephew which is always fun to play like a kid! I'm thankful we had the day to spend together. As we were leaving, we got an invite to come back & do it all over again this weekend - I'm looking forward to it & hope it becomes more of a habit.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July! Its such a day to think about the freedom we have in this country when on the news, the terriost threats in the UK are still looming & putting everyone's alerts up. What a crazy time we live in - but how blessed we are to be in this country where we have so many freedoms that others dream of. So many of us take this for granted. I am one - I'll admit it. I was born in the USA so I never thought of how blessed I was. Growing up, when you start paying attention to the news - a dose of how lucky we are starts to hit you. And in a time of war, when you start to hear stories of people you know loosing family members - then you truly appreciate the country you live in and the people who give up their life so you can live in this abundantancy. So I thank anyone who has served in the military. God Bless You all & God Bless America!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Visit in a Dream

Here we go with the topic of a dream again. This past weekend, I had my first dream of Steph. It's crazy because in my dream, she was there - I could feel her, I could see her, I could hear that laugh - it was amazing. I kept trying to tell her she had died but she just laughed at me & would ignore what I was saying. Finally I just got to the point where I stopped trying to tell her & I was just taking in every minute I had with her. Isn't it crazy how real dreams can be? Something stirred the 4 dogs sleeping in the bed & they all started a barking-fest at 4:00 am & woke me up. I was right in the middle of a conversation with Steph too & the barking shot me right out of it - OHHH man, I was so sad! I wanted to keep having conversations with Steph - & hear that laugh! Oh, how I miss that laugh! Ever have that feeling once you wake up where the dream felt so real? I guess I just wait until I get another visit in my dream from my friend.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Disney Desperate Housewives

Being a Disney fan - I had to post this for a good laugh. It is Monday so who cant use a laugh today?

Do you notice, my Beast is pictured in the background?

Dont take offense guys - its all in good humor!